Rep. Boebert introduces legislation to defund Planned Parenthood abortion providers

With the House and Senate under split partisan control for the next two years, it seems highly unlikely that either Democrats or Republicans will be able to achieve their legislative goals, but that won’t stop them from considering bills that clearly outline where the two parties and its members stand on various hot-button issues.

Along those lines, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO) just introduced a bill in the House to defund Planned Parenthood abortion providers and instead provide funding to federally eligible community health care centers, Fox News reported.

Yet, while that bill will likely pass the GOP-controlled House with ease, it is rather unlikely that it will even be taken up for a vote, much less actually pass, in the Democrat-controlled Senate.

Abortions increased while other services decreased

“The nation’s largest abortion provider has no business receiving taxpayer dollars,” Rep. Boebert said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood claims these funds go to healthcare for women, but last year, Planned Parenthood performed a record number of abortions while also reducing the number of well-woman exams and breast cancer screenings it performed.”

“Instead of funding Planned Parenthood, my bill will redirect this funding to community health centers that actually meet the health needs of women across the country,” the Colorado congresswoman added.

The conservative Republican’s press release linked a Sept. 2022 Heritage Foundation review of a belated annual report from Planned Parenthood that covered the 2020 Fiscal Year and found that while the number of abortions performed by the organization had increased to an all-time high, the other healthcare services it purportedly offers had decreased substantially.

In fact, Planned Parenthood’s report revealed it had performed more than 383,000 abortions in that period, an increase from the prior year, while the numbers for things like breast cancer screening, pap smears, and other women’s health exams had all declined in comparison to previous years. Furthermore, Heritage noted that for every single adoption referral that the organization had made, it performed more than 200 abortions to end the life of an unborn child.

As for the taxpayer funds that Planned Parenthood received over that period, it was registered at more than $633 million, up slightly from the year before — the vast majority of which comes via Medicaid reimbursements — while the organization’s funding from private donors had also increased substantially to around $597 million.

Moratorium on Planned Parenthood funding, shift funds to community health centers

Boebert’s bill, H.R.128, the Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2023, was first introduced on Jan. 9, was assigned to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and has already garnered 26 co-sponsors, all of whom are Republicans.

If passed, the measure would impose a one-year moratorium on federal appropriations to Planned Parenthood and all of its affiliates and sub-entities “unless such entities certify that Planned Parenthood Federation of America affiliates and clinics will not perform, and will not provide any funds to any other entity that performs, an abortion during such period.”

To be sure, the bill allows for the usual exceptions from the prohibition on abortions for instances of incest and rape and when the life or health of a mother is at risk.

That said, there is also a provision that allows for the federal government to recoup any funds otherwise appropriated to Planned Parenthood if it is found to have violated the terms of the certification. Meanwhile, the bill also authorizes the transfer of $235 million to go toward eligible community health centers, provided they also agree not to use the funds for abortions, that otherwise would have been earmarked for Planned Parenthood.

Measure supported by the Students for Life organization

Rep. Boebert’s press release also included a statement from Kristan Hawkins, the president of the Students for Life of America organization — which gave Boebert an A+ rating — that expressed full and complete support for the effort to defund Planned Parenthood.

“There’s no single entity that stands to make a profit off the violence of abortion more than Planned Parenthood,” Hawkins said, and added, “Students for Life Action applauds Rep. Boebert and her colleagues for cutting funds from this abortion giant while lifting up the local pregnancy centers that stand to gain nothing from helping women facing crisis pregnancy.”